Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A bag of tricks for nighttime cloth diapering

Night Time Cloth Diapering

As with most things involving children, nighttime cloth diapering requires a good amount of trial and error. Every child is different and every child changes as they grow. I am happy to share several of the night time diapering methods we have put to use at one time or another, and hopefully I can make some of the challenges a little less foreboding.

Newborns require frequent changes by tired parents. This is the stage where I appreciated the "All in one, sized diaper" specifically the BumGenius XS diapers (with aplix). Luckily this stage does not last long, and I am a huge fan of NOT changing diapers mid-night, so we stopped using them pretty early on.

Next came the "one size up" snappied prefold and PUL diaper cover. I used one size bigger than our daytime diapers for the sole purpose of having extra absorbtion so that we could make it through the night without changes. As baby grew, and that didn't quite cut it anymore (especially with regular nursing sessions during the night), I added doublers - the tri-folded newborn prefold or the hemp doubler (top right, both from Green Mountain Diapers). These I lay inside the cover before putting it on over the diaper.

To keep sleepers feeling dry and comfortable all night, I have at some times used stripes of fleece (purple strip) in between the baby and the diaper. Nothing fancy, just some no-pill fleece from Joann's cut into strips to fit - no sewing required.

With older babies, many people have good luck at night with the bumGenius One-Size diapers with both inserts (we did!). However, this was when I really came to love my night-time woolies. The toddler would always wake in the morning with a dull (sometimes not so dull) urine smell to her jammies. Adding a wool soaker over the One Size diaper made this issue disappear completely.

Wool soakers also work great over fitted diapers (old style shown in pink - new duo Thirsties Fitted). I don't use wool over my snappied prefolds, but I do like to use them over a PUL cover! The soaker that looks like underwear is great for using during the summer months or under children's pjs. The pants soaker (the longies) are for use in place of pj pants. My girls have a lot of full body zip up jammies so we get more use out of the soaker/underwear style. I love the video of how to wash and lanolize wool from GMD.

In the end, you need to do what works best for you. We have been through stages with our oldest where only a disposable diaper worked at night - though for others they switch to cloth because disposables don't work at night for them. As I said before, trial and error! Happy diapering!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting to be knit...

No more yarn or projects for me... oh! what a queue I have! (I will apologize in advance for some of the weird lighting in these photos...)

Tuckernuck 1.1
I have made excellent progress on Helen's Tuckernuck Sweater, but once her's is complete I will need to start on the second one for Clare! This is Berroco Vintage in the 5183 Lilacs colorway.

Malabrigo Pearl Ten
3 Skeins of gorgeous Malabrigo Rios in the Pearl Ten colorway are destined to be knit into a Kinsale sweater... a lovely pattern for little boys.

Queensland Rustic Wool
So lovely in fact that I intend to knit a 2nd one in this Queensland Rustic Wool...

Berroco Vintage Sloe Berry
I have more Berroco Vintage in Sloe Berry for my sister's Amused sweater.

Berroco Vintage DK
The new colors of the Berroco Vintage DK have arrived to make more Blomst Mittens - I can't wait to try out some new color combinations!

Cascade 220
Some super-girly Cascade 220 to make a pair of longies for sweet Clare.

Stitch Nation Washable Ewe
Stitch Nation Washable Ewe to knit a couple pairs of Fetching fingerless mitts.

Wool Scraps 1
A pile of mixed wool scraps is growing... waiting to be knit into 8 inch squares for a group blanket swap project on Ravelry.

And that is not all... I have at least three other projects already on the needles! Craziness. Knitting is craziness... so, I have decided. No more new yarn until January 2013. No more!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Give-Away Longies!

Giveaway Longies 1.1

They are not done yet, but I thought you would like a sneak peek! I am seriously falling in love with these longies. After the green knees, a bit more orange, then a nice green belt... good times. These are definitely a size to fit a 18-24+ month old. Don't forget to enter :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's never too late to start again...

Last year, my home preschooling attempts were an utter failure (may have had something to do with the newborn... maybe). This year I am hoping for better results - mainly on my part!

This week we talked about the Letter "W", and I got the impression that my three year old was not impressed.

Letter W

"What's this letter?" I asked, pointing to the "W" flashcard on our word wall. 
"Oh mom. That's a "W"," responded the too-smart for all this nonsense three year old - who later told me that the upside down "W" is an "M" like monster....

To make things worse, she wasn't even interested in "washing" her play kitchen dishes - my activity planned for the day. Oh well. 

So, I needed a little inspiration, and boy did I get it! 

Keeper of the Home and other Homeschooling bloggers are currently offering a Homeshooling Omnibus - 53 ebooks about everything from organizing and planning your homeschool to actual lessons for your kids. I love this collection because of the huge quantity of toddler/preschool curriculum included. The best part is the price! Only $25! But hurry if you want it - the offer ends tomorrow.

I have already downloaded and looked at quite a bit of the package, and I have already gotten some good ideas on how to expand my techniques and hopefully better engage my daughter.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Wednesday: Dogs & Bags

Dog Dress up 08/2012

It is a frequent sight lately to see one or both of our dogs all prettied up. They tolerate all the primping quite well.

Mini-Project Bag 1.1

I also have a new project bag to love. Made by a friend's mother it is the perfect size for a little project and notions.

Mini-Project Bag 1.2

And yes! That is the pair of longies I am knitting to give away! Don't forget to enter for a chance to win!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Off the needles: Pembroke Wrap

Pembroke Wrap 2.1

Freshly cast-off Saturday night, now awaiting a little bit of blocking to show off the lace.

Pembroke Wrap 2.8

I used a smaller gauge and needle then the pattern called for so I added two extra repeats of the lace pattern.    It is soft and squishy and warm. And I love it.

Pembroke Wrap 2.4

More details on this project can be found on my Ravelry project page.

Little Helper 8/2012

My little helper :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Preschool Activities: The Letter S and the Sea

It is back to school time for daddy, so that means home preschool time for the girls and mom!

We keep it simple and relaxed at our house, but I like to feel that I am purposefully doing things with my girls that will help prepare them for more traditional schooling.

This week we are focusing on the Letter "S"  and the "Sea".

I have two great books to recommend:

 by Gene Zion

This is a really sweet book about how a hot dog wanders away from his family while trying to find some shade and gets lost on the beach. The topics in the book are ones a small child can relate to, such as being lost or left out and feeling hot. Also, things they will see if they visit the seashore make prominence in the scenery and text: beach umbrellas, sand and sand castles, seaweed, crowds, shells and birds, and food stands. 

It is literally FULL of "S" words:

Sand Castle  
Sea Monster
Sea Serpent
Sea Slug
Sun Hat
Suntan oil

by Lucy Cousins

The Maisy series continues to find it's way into our home. This particular book is an excellent resource for teaching young children about travel and vacations. Maisy packs, rides a train, checks into her hotel, plays at the beach, has a snack, writes postcards, and then gets ready for bed in her hotel room. Again the sights and sounds of the sea are ones that young children can witness and relate to: traveling, playing in the sand and water, and going to bed in an unfamiliar place. I like that several different names for the sea are used: Seaside, Seashore, Ocean, Beach.

"S" Words:

Sun Hat
Station (Train)
Sand Castles
Splash! Splish!

Other activites to try:

  • Color a picture of a seaside scene: We pulled a great one out of our Melissa & Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad that depicts a sand castle and star fish by the sea.
  • Play in a sand box (visit a park if you don't have one at home!)
  • Have a splash day in the yard.
  • Examine shells.
  • Visit the zoo or aquarium. 
  • Trace the letter "S", or better yet draw it with sidewalk chalk along with some starfish and other sea creatures!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick Knitting and Random Wednesday

Pembroke Wrap 1.2

After my intense colorwork mitten knitting, I really needed something fast and interesting. The Pembroke Wrap from Interweave Knits Fall 2011 was the perfect answer.

Pembroke Wrap 1.0

Luckily I was able to pick up some clearance wool at Joann's! This whole wrap is going to end up costing less than $8 in yarn - what a deal! I love this colorway and am a little sad that I never tried this yarn before they decided to discontinue it.

Pembroke Wrap 1.3

I am adding extra repeats to the pattern as per the instructions of fellow Raveler: TheCalicoLover - Thank you for the notes! I think this pattern is good shawl/lace practice for me before I tackle my Madelinetosh lace weight yarn.

2012 Mopped Floor

In other news, I have decided to start posting some random items on Wednesdays (whenever possible of course). Today I mopped the kitchen floor - that is quite a random event for me :)

2012 Helen and Dogs

Also, Helen is starting to play independently outside - with the dogs at her side of course - this is great, and I can't wait for cooler weather so that we can all spend more time outdoors.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Good Day for Yarn

I love mail.

Especially yarn mail.

Today I received from the very generous Melissa Thomas of Family Pendragon yarns, a sample of her beautiful handpainted yarn. GORGEOUS. Melissa is a fellow Texas WAHM (work at home mom), and I love having the opportunity to support her and other crafty mamas.

Family Pendragon Sweet Pea

I really couldn't get a photo that really showed the real beauty of the colors. It is the Sweet Pea colorway on a base of Gaia Organic Merino. Just lovely.

Family Pendragon Sweet Pea

After I first heard from Melissa, I zoomed over to her facebook page and website to check out her dying. I was impressed... and totally in love. I really need to start investing in more hand-dyed, hand-painted yarns. They are awesome, and Melissa's eye for color is astounding. The Ravelry Group for Family Pendragon regulars hosts co-ops for purchasing her yarns in groups to get the co-op discount.

Family Pendragon Sweet Pea

I love this yarn so much, that even though it would be an awesome diaper soaker, I can't even think of it - it is just too lovely. So, now I am thinking this is destined to be a sweet little tunic of some sort.

I want to show my support of other Texas moms with crafty businesses, so if you have a business you would like me to feature here, please send me a note at lonestar(dot)knits(at)yahoo(dot)com. I have put Family Pendragon's logo & link in my sidebar and I would love to have yours there as well!

Friday, August 10, 2012

And then they were done...

My Ravellenic Games project is complete!

Blomst Mittens 1.4

Sorry the photos are a little grey, but I was trying to block the sunlight as it was making the yarn super shiny.

Blomst Mittens 1.5

I am so excited to have finished this set in less than two weeks, and I love them! I can't wait to make many more pairs. One thing I noticed was that I was much more relaxed knitting the second mitten, so the left ended up a bit larger than the right... oops! I must remember to pay better attention to gauge.

Is is crazy to think about trying to start and finish another project before the end of the games?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ravellenic Mittens

I have been busy knitting away to complete my goal of finishing up the beautiful Blomst Mittens before the end of the Olympic Games. I made a few mistakes on the first mitten... a few I left and a few I went back to correct. This is my first time following a stranded colorwork pattern... so it has been a learning experience.

Blomst Mittens 1.2

I followed the modifications of a few of the other knitters on Ravelry... mainly leaving out one set of leaves to make them a tad shorter.... to fit my short fingers better. I accidentally made them even shorter by leaving out a couple of rows on the first set of petals! oops. Then I had to shorten the last set of petals too so they wouldn't look weird.  I am trying to duplicate this error on the second mitten!

One of the most challenging parts of stranded colorwork on double pointed needles is that I have a tendency to either pull the unused strand of yarn too tight or not tight enough between needles.  Then the fabric bumps up or leaves a hole.  Ugh.

Blomst Mittens 1.3

Right when I was about to bind off the first, I realized that I had not read the pattern correctly for the decreases and the tip of my mitten looked MESSY (I should have taken a picture!).  Too messy for me to live with (I live with mistakes a lot... it is a part of life... and a part of completing projects in a timely manner... it also adds character!). So since I didn't want to live with this mistake, I ripped back the first mitten to before the start of the decreases and reknit it. It looks much better now.

I am much happier with my color choices now, but I still feel the gold is too dark.  I just placed a new WEBS order for a few more colors to mix and match with future mittens! Yay! New Yarn!

Blomst Mittens 1.1

Only 2/3rds left to knit on mitten #2! I am well on my way to accomplishing my Ravellenic Goal this year. Are you knitting anything for the Ravellenic Games?

Don't forget about the Mama's Favorite Longies Giveaway - Those are next on the needles :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mama's Favorite Longies Giveaway!

Stash Yarn: Peace Fleece

This Giveaway is CLOSED and the winner is SAMI! Thank you to all that participated!!

Ok readers... I know you are out there!

Wanna win some longies? Of course you do!
Mama's Favorite Longies 2
(these are shorties... longies have full length legs)

I will be knitting up a pair of Mama's Favorite Longies (size large!) in blue and orange Peace Fleece to give away when this little blog reaches 10,000 pageviews (it won't be long now!).

If you want to win there are two ways to enter:

1. Become a Follower!! If you are already a follower or follow by email and want to enter, just comment on this post that you are a follower/email follower and want to enter! Followers get 10 entries!!!!!

2. Comment on new posts! Every time you comment on a post published from now until 10,000 pageviews you get another entry into the drawing! Make sure to not be "anonymous" so I know who you are :)

"I don't cloth diaper, why would I want a pair of longies?"
Well, let me tell you.... wool longies make awesome pj bottoms - they are warm and breathable... and pretty much ANYTHING that leaks out of any type of diaper will be absorbed by the awesomeness of wool and leave your little one sleeping warm and dry.

"Why a size large?"
Well, I figure size large will fit most babies at some point :) And, I have enough yarn to make a large, so why not use it all!

"I don't have a baby...."
Well then, you have the opportunity to win a pretty awesome baby shower gift!

Thanks for being a reader of my blog!
Feel free to comment on this post if you have more reasons why LONGIES ARE AWESOME!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stash Happenings and A Contest!

I have recently accumulated a few lovely things for my yarn stash and thought I would share.

Stash Yarn: Aslan Trends Alpaca
I found this Aslan Trends Alpaca Melange at a Tuesday Morning! I am not really a bright pink person, but it was so soft and squishy that I thought for sure I could make SOMETHING with it!

Stash Yarn: Madelinetosh Lace Mansfield Garden Party 3
This beauty is Madelinetosh Tosh Lace in the Mansfield Garden Party colorway. Again, I am not usually a pink person, but I couldn't pass up the loveliness of this skein! I think I will knit some kind of delicate shawl out of it that I will never wear.... but love. This was purchased at the one and only MADTOSH store, it is truly dangerous to have this yarn/fabric shop so close to my home.

Stash Knitting Books: Little Sublime Book 3
I saw this book at our local Half Price Books a few years ago and didn't buy it because I didn't know what it was and didn't want to pay $7 for what appeared to be a magazine. However, these little books are really nice and when I saw it again last week, I made sure to snatch it up. The patterns are precious and simply beautiful - exactly as baby things should be.

Stash Yarn: Peace Fleece
Lastly, I think I am going to host my first giveaway!! Yay! It will involve this pretty Peace Fleece.... probably the orange and blue... and the Mama's Favorite Longies Pattern! Stay tuned for details :)
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